ACC hopes past suc­cess pro­vides boost in 2017

Rome News-Tribune - - SPORTS - By Joedy McCreary As­so­ci­ated Press Sports Writer

The At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence hopes its suc­cess of last season can boost the league this year — on the field and the bal­ance sheet.

The ACC re­turns the Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner, the reign­ing na­tional cham­pion and has two top- five teams in the na­tional polls.

The league’s suc­cess has helped make the con­fer­ence even more at­trac­tive to fans and view­ers — start­ing with a list of open­ing-week matchups that in­clude Florida State-Alabama, Vir­ginia Tech-West Vir­ginia and Ge­or­gia Tech-Ten­nessee.

In an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press, Com­mis­sioner John Swof­ford said 2016 “may well have been the best year in our league’s his­tory” while say­ing the league has trended up for about five years.

“And in to­day’s world, from the con­fer­ence’s stand­point, that’s re­ally im­por­tant,” Swof­ford said.

“It’s helped us tremen­dously in terms of where we’re headed, tele­vi­sion- wise. It’s helped us tremen­dously in terms of our bowl as­so­ci­a­tions that we now have and will have for a good while to come.”

He hopes that suc­cess will buoy the en­tire league as it pre­pares for the launch of its ESPN- af­fil­i­ated tele­vi­sion chan­nel in two years, added to its roster of cor­po­rate spon­sors and be­gins work on ne­go­ti­at­ing the next round of bowl con­tracts.

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